Port Moody police (PMPD) are looking for a group of youths that were recently seen intentionally lighting Trasolini Field on fire.
The arson took place Friday night (May 26), leaving behind roughly $4,000 in damage to the popular artificial turf behind Port Moody Recreation Complex.
Just before midnight, Port Moody firefighters were called to "several fires" at Trasolini Field — located at 300 Ioco Rd. — after police received reports of young people using an accelerant to light the blazes.
The group fled into Shoreline Trail when first responders arrived, said PMPD spokesperson Const. Sam Zacharias, noting Fire Rescue quickly extinguished the flames before spreading.
"We are appealing to the public for help," he added as efforts to find the suspects since the incident have come up short.
"We believe someone has information that can aid our investigation."
And the turf field is brand new after the city completed a $1.1-million replacement project last fall.
The old field aged significantly with some adult sports groups, including soccer and field hockey, claiming the field is hard on their bodies and normally request times to play at Heritage Woods instead.
Zacharias said investigators are looking for witness accounts and potential video footage of the arson.
@tricitynews Turf fires. 🔥🏟️ #tricitynews #portmoody #trasolinifield #portmoodypolice #fire #greenscreen ♬ original sound - TriCityNews
'High' fire risk
PMPD are also using the arson as a public warning for the current fire dangers in the city.
As of this publication (May 30), the fire rating is "high" as the weather continues to heat up in the transition from spring to summer.
In fact, it's so hot that Zacharias said Port Moody firefighters put out a separate deliberate blaze set near the Shoreline Trail on Sunday (May 28).
The flames were also put out quickly upon arrival.
"Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious," reads the B.C. government's "high" fire danger description.
"New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted.
Port Moody residents are strongly encouraged to report any fires or suspicious activity right away by calling 604-469-7795.